Wandering For Money

Living in a Gig Economy – Make Money with Gig Apps

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Make Money with Gig Apps

There’s an app for everything. Including if you need someone to go do a gig. Since I can lift my one grocery bag, and will not be building you well anything anytime soon, I am not going to cut it as a TaskRabbit. No car, so no driving for me either. But hey I still want to try to make money with gig apps. My type of gigs? The secret shopping kind. Although, maintaining the secret part is not always easy. Here are some secret shopper gig apps I use….

Running bird NZ

Small Girl in a Gig Economy World – Apps to Make Money Doing Gigs

1. Field Agent

  • Pay rate: $2-25ish
  • Payment method: Dwolla or direct deposit
  • Can be a bit picky with picture quality (catch as much as you can and read the directions)
  • Tasks: there are your standard secret shopping type gigs – so go take a picture of some cologne and try not to get harassed by the perfume section employees – as well as gigs in the “scavenger hunt” section. These are items with suggested stores and a usually non-helpful description of the item that you should accept only if you have found said item. I decided one day I really really wanted to find one of these items (even though most reviews say do not go looking for them because they may not be in the suggested store, they may not be in your state even), but scavenger hunt sounds fun right? I started with some items with vague descriptions you see on price tags. But try looking for these items when each word is shortened to practically nothing. Not easy.
  • So ok I moved on to one I thought was a sure bet – flamingos and pineapple lights at Target which I thought for sure I had seen and that is a pretty random thing to imagine. Maybe I did or I am crazy, but I did not find it. I did pass Ace and saw flamingo lights in the window there – who knew how popular those things were?
Back on task….
  • So the secret shopping type jobs are what you will likely do unless you are a WAY better scavenger hunter than I am. Time commitment usually is not bad at all. What is though is it can just be difficult to take the required photos in say the perfume section or a small mobile carrier store. The best job I did on here? It only paid a few dollars but reimbursed me for the pizza that I walked over and picked up and took a few pictures of. That was it. Free dinner plus a few dollars.
  • Timeline for gig approval: a few days – about a week. Following approval, you can request to cash-out whenever (no minimum balance requirement). Again via Dwolla or direct deposit – which you need to set up first.
  • In addition to paying jobs, this app has jobs for tickets. These consist of a few quick questions and award a ticket for the monthly sweepstakes. One winner per month. The amount of the potential reward is based upon how many tickets you obtained that month, and goes up to $500.
  • Fun app. Perfume gets a little awkward but I am still kicking myself for not grabbing ALL the pizza carryout jobs around me and being that jerk carrying a ton of pizzas down the street.
  • Tip: this app is good in that if you cannot get the desired picture, it says what picture to take as an alternative. Use that to your advantage and read the directions. Not every app has that and its annoying when you can’t find something but can’t even show your efforts in some way.

2. Mobee

Be a little busy bee with mobee.

  • This can be a bit more time consuming compared to Field Agent but overall not that bad at all. Again, secret shopping type gigs.
    • Pro tip: have a story. If you are hanging out in the perfume section for a while, you will get approached at least once. Try walking through a perfume section without getting approached next time you are in a department store. My go-to story? I do not like the cologne my brother uses so I want to smell some others, but he won’t listen to me so it’s not like I can make a purchase. Bam. Perfect. I am not a pushy girlfriend – can’t make my boyfriend use any cologne. And have had no one really push me to buy Armani cologne for a brother – really, he wouldn’t listen to me. Just some story that basically says I am NOT buying anything today and explains why you are looking. Whatever you feel comfortable saying. Because you won’t feel comfortable when you have three sales associates ask if you need help – which I find rude but yeah it can happen. Maybe I am indecisive ok?
  • Rewards: gigs pay out in points. Points accrued can be exchanged for electronic gift cards or an electronic Mastercard. No PayPal. Lack of a cash option is a bit of a bummer but overall the payout rate is good.
    • Note: Mastercards are electronic, which means you can only use them with online payments.
  • Takes a few days towards a week for jobs to get approved. I have always had mine approved (and no not because I am some secret shopping wizard – but this app I believe is very fair and allows you to provide explanations if some issue arises that makes your mission difficult – in fact, they ask that at the end of each gig.)
  • You can also earn badges by completing a certain number of tasks in various categories for example, which equal additional points.
  • While I wish this paid in PayPal so I can get actual money, good app. Check it out.
  • Referral bonus? Yup. Both you and the person you refer receive extra points after that person’s first completed mission. My referral code is: 6HXM.
  • Other bonus points?! This is one thing I really love about this app. Reviewers can reward you with extra points when they feel you did an especially good job. It’s nice for them to recognize it because lets face it, being glued to your phone doing these apps for money does not lead to much recognition (besides maybe from security guards). This app does a nice job making it known when they think you do a nice job!

3. Gigwalk

  • I rarely see gigs nearby with this app (or they pay a small amount for it to be worth the metro fare), but it sure seems popular in the blogosphere. You have to apply for gigs – even if they only pay $3. Somewhat annoying and I have missed well one because I got the notification saying I got the gig the same time I got the notification saying it expired.
  • Gig approval takes about a week.
  • Payment method: PayPal.
  • I have not used this one too much because there just have not been many opportunities near me.
  • Referral bonus? From what I can tell, no.

4. Observa

  • I am pretty excited when a job pops up on this app.
  • These gigs are quick. The approval process is very quick. Payment is very quick.
  • Payment method: Paid directly to PayPal immediately after job is approved. I think the longest it took for me to get a job approved/receive payment was a day.
  • Huge negative: there are rarely any jobs! Or it says there are close jobs – I get on and the closest is 250 miles away…
  • Second huge negative: app requires background location tracking. And if you select “while using app” (for iPhones) it sort of freaks out when you try to use the app because it wants that “Always” on. And it seems to always be using it based on battery usage and location services indications. So if these are concerns for you, while I love when I actually get a job on this app, a few $7-8 jobs may not be worth it for the battery and data drain.

5. Survey Merchandiser

  • Has jobs with 4-8 hour shifts as well that I have not done, so not strictly a gig type app.
  • I have only done a few jobs with this app. The jobs I did were easier than they looked, but three were the same job just at three different stores. A lot of the jobs look confusing to me at least. Or I feel like I am imposing on the store (although some jobs have a letter of authorization).
  • perhaps I am just not familiar with the lingo. Someone contacted me to do a job locating a shipper for a type of protein bars and I must have asked about 10 friends what a shipper is. They all thought the same as me and said are you serious? like duh, UPS, FedEx? But I didn’t think a UPS truck would be sitting in an aisle somewhere. I see a ton of good reviews for this app and perhaps should try it out more since many say it pays $7-8 for 10 minutes. Which was about true for the jobs I did – maybe 15 for one.
  • Note: after you get this app, expect texts from the schedulers. Not a big deal because it is as though the jobs are literally falling into your lap. But just a heads up. It does die down or it did for me – perhaps because I turned some down (and some were not listed in the app but I do not have a car and could not make them).
  • my suggestion is download it at least and if you have a car, I could see it being a good deal because doing the same job at a few different stores made that job super simple by store 2 – so if theres a job that you can drive to at a bunch of stores (or if you are ok handing off sell sheets to managers) then I can see this being a great money maker.
  • Referral bonus? Yes. For the person that refers they get a perfect of the referee’s earnings.
  • Cash out minimum: $7.50.
  • Payment method: PayPal. It says every few weeks (based on when you request), but I received mine a lot faster (a day for the most recent one)

6. GigSpot

  • Worth mentioning because the jobs listed look good, but I have admittedly not yet done one. Most seem to require a purchase, which is typically reimbursed. Just a heads up though.

7. EasyShift

  •  Nothing is easy about easy shift. Period. Tasks taking way too long and requiring pics that scream I am a very stalker and/or weirdo and/or stealing something. Plus you use their app to take the photos which is AWFUL. In case I hadn’t learned by lesson yet then I took about a 100 pics at a pet store for the app to just die out on me. And the “help” person kept asking for a screenshot. What?! yes when apps suddenly crash I take a screenshot and if I did it would at BEST be a black screen or you’d just see my home screen. 
  • Have you ever woken up one day thinking I really want to go look like a complete stalker in my nearby grocery store who has a weird obsession with (insert one particular item – pest control supplies, beer, deodorant, but just one) for about an hour or longer and take perhaps 100-300 pictures and get paid $4 for it? Well then here is the app for you my friend.
  • Sure some pay a little bit more and some do not require that many pictures. But some do literally ask for about 300 pictures of say deodorant for about $9? If you think well I have this lightening fast camera, 300 is nothing. Think again. You will be using the EasyShift app camera. It will take you back in time to a time you wish apps weren’t a thing. It will also destroy your battery so have your phone fully charged. So while you use this painfully slow glitchy app/camera, imagine how secretive you look as you take 3 pictures of every single deodorant product in CVS.
    • Also keep in mind that people are shopping. Unless you are just a total jerk, add time to account for moving for shoppers that are actually shopping.
    • So this initially, this may suggest that you should go to stores during off hours. It is typically better to go when the store is at least a little busy – unless you want every store employee’s full attention on you.
    • Basically many things add to the time. Many more than I thought about until I did these shifts.
  • This app will make you crazy. It may also make you think every job has to be better than looking like someone insanely obsessed over deodorant for over an hour in a nearby store you well used to shop in.
  • Approval process is slow. Payment can be slow. Pays directly to PayPal once approved and then add on some time and one day you will get an email saying you got a payment. Support may as well be living on Neptune at the rate they respond (if they ever do).
  • BUT, silver lining here*, if anything, get this app and go to Help then Forum. The stories there are hilarious plus there are tons of threads on other apps to make money. I have found some through this app that I saw nowhere else and have loved. And after you take 300 pictures of deodorant, it can help feeling like you aren’t the only person doing this crazy stuff for some money.
  • Note: when you sign up for a shift, multiply the number of questions it says you need to answer by about 3. Or don’t and see for yourself.
  • A good/bad thing about this app: Field Agent gives you 2 hours usually if you reserve a gig. Gigwalk and Gigspot you reserve a day. Mobee, you need to be there to start the job. Survey Merchandiser, with the claim and go you get 2-4 hours. With EasyShift, you get 24 hours after you reserve a job. This can be great because if you see a job and want it, you can claim it right then without wondering if you can complete the job in 2 hours. But it can be bad because you won’t be the only one with that mentality and some will forget they claimed it. So 24 hours has to go by and now you can maybe grab it. As you complete jobs and level up, you can reserve more than one. Again, this can be good or bad. Or maybe just good because this app may send you straight to crazytown.
  • *Note about the forum: not everyone on there plays nice. I’d suggest just reading comments. But its your call.

Now go try one out! If you are shy, go try one in an area you never visit (of course stay safe). It can be fun to get outside your comfort zone and then go tell your friends and family about your day taking pictures of deodorant. 

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